Friday, January 24, 2014

Fever Pitch Redux Part 2

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 2:45EST Arsenal vs. Napoli Champions League Match Day 2

Arsenal head in to this home match riding high, but the doubters are out there and many calling this the "Grouop of Death" fear that Arsenal will be unable to defeat Napoli. The Emirates was rocking and Arsenal were facing a test to their early season form.

(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Well Arsenal passed that test with flying colors. From start to finish it was total domination by the Gunners. Ozil scored his first Arsenal goal and set up Olivier Giroud's follow up goal all within the first 15 minutes. From there, Arsenal just controlled possession and kept Napoli from putting up any real threat. If one didn't know better, you would have thought that Napoli were pushovers. Arsenal made the Serie A challengers look very ordinary. The 2-0 victory had Arsenal fans, and even Arsenal detractors, singing the teams' praises.

 Arsenal dismantle Napoli with Mesut Ozil playing the engineer

Arsene Wenger hails 'outstanding' Mesut Ozil after Arsenal see off Napoli in the Champions League

(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Sunday, October 6, 2013 11AM EST Arsenal at West Bromwich Albion

All of a sudden the pundits can't stop talking about Arsenal and how great they look. Amazing the difference six weeks of winning can do. Arsenal go in to this match looking for their 9th consecutive road win and are the in form team in the EPL. A win or a draw and Arsenal go back to the top of the league. Even the press are singing Arsenal's praises:

Arsenal column: The pieces have fallen into place, the timing is right.. Arsenal ARE genuine title contenders

A week after defeating ManU at Old Trafford, West Brom were brimming with confidence. They played a strong game and put Arsenal to the test throughout. They scored late in the first half and held that lead until the hour mark when Jack Wilshere's deflected shot found the back of the net. The game ended in a draw and sadly the Man of the Match was the ref who was shocking. It looked as if he thought he was refing a boxing match as he let every foul and near mugging go. The fact that this draw is so disappointing is a testament to how high the expectations have been raised by this Arsenal team. Let's remember back the past few seasons where this game would have been a loss. Arsenal are still Top of the League and to make it even better, the Spuds were embarrassed by West Ham at home. On to the international break and top of the table.
(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Saturday, October 18 2013 10AM EST Arsenal vs. Norwich City

After a long international break, which saw England qualify for next summer's World Cup and Mexico cheering for the USA, it's back to EPL action. Luckily all Arsenal players came back from national team duty in good shape and it's time for the team to press on and continue too hold the top spot in the table.

Giroud celebrates after scoring for France (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Before leaving for the break, the Premier League handed out their awards for the month of September and the winners were Aaron Ramsey for Player of the Month and Arsene Wenger for Manager of the month. It's now official....the "crisis" has been averted.

Other news out of Arsenal is the addition of Kieran Gibbs to Twitter:
Plus, believe it or not, Stan Kroenke was cheered at this week's shareholder's meeting

(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Confidence is oozing out of every member of the Arsenal team as well as the fan base. The Emirates was rocking today as Arsenal easily dismantled Norwich  4-1. The only blemish on the match was that once again the Gunners were unable to keep a clean sheet.  The goals...they were all amazing. Wilshere opened the scoring in the 18th minute. Ozil scored his first league goal on a header in the 58th followed by an amazing Aaron Ramsey run through the Norwich defense which led to Ramsey's 9th goal of the season. Ozil got a second in the 88th as the result of some amazing team play.

(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Another first was watching Ozil and the returning Santi Cazorla playing together in the same midfield. With Cazorla back and the fine form of Ramsey, Wilshere, Arteta and Rosicky, the Arsenal midfield is one of the best in might even say Barcelona like. Thanks once again to Real Madrid for making one of the stupidest footballing decisions in years....or shall I say gracias!

(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Looking down from the top of the table, there's one noticeable absentee from the top 4. The Fergie-less Manchester United had another mediocre display at Old Trafford and drew 1-1 with Southampton who are themselves in the top 4. Hopefully Robin van Persie is watching the renaissance under Wenger in North London and rethinking the rash decision the little boy inside of him made! Borussia Dortmund is next, onward and upward! Up the Arsenal.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

How's the little boy like 8th place? (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 2:45PM EST Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund Champions League Match Day 3

Going in to this match all is well in Arsenal land. Top of the table in the league and top of the table in Group F. It's too early to get carried away yet in the Champions League and today's match against last year's runners-up will be another test for this rejuvenated Arsenal squad.

Unfortunately Arsene Wenger didn't get the birthday present he wanted. Not sure what was going on, but Arsenal looked lethargic and slow. Arsenal were defeated 2-1. Maybe it's me. I was at this exact Match Day 3 game at the Emirates last October when Schalke defeated Arsenal 2-0. Those German fans know how to celebrate.
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Despite the defeat there were some positives. After going behind, Arsenal fought back and pulled even on a wild goal by Giroud. Love Wilshere, but he was way off his game today. Too many errant passes. He probably needs a rest. Once Cazorla was subbed in late in the match, Arsenal looked more likely to score. Unfortunately, Lewandoski scored on a great strike and despite a valiant effort, the game ended in defeat.

Saturday, October 26, 2013 7:45AM Arsenal at Crystal Palace

First match of the weekend and time to bounce back from the midweek Champions League loss to Dortmund. Crystal Palace are prime for a beating, without a manager and second from the bottom with just three points.

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 3:45PM Arsenal vs. Chelsea Leauge Cup Round 4

It's that odd time of year where for one week, the UK and the East Coast of the USA are just four hours apart rather than five. Therefore, today's game is beginning one hour later than most of us are used to here in the states. Regardless, the fixtures are coming fast and furious and the upcoming matches, beginning with today's League Cup meeting with Chelsea, could define Arsenal's season.

Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
An absolutely miserable night. It's clear that Chelsea's second team is way better than Arsenal's second team. Nicklas Bendtner and Ryo Miyaichi were given the chance to shine and both failed miserably. Despite the lack of goal penetration by Arsenal, they were hanging with Chelsea....that is until Carl Jenkinson gifted Chelsea a goal with an idiotic back pass in to the path of an oncoming Chelsea player.

Arsenal were better in the second half but it seemed as if they were playing bowling rather than football. Every attempt on goal resulted in the ball hitting a Chelsea player rather than anywhere near the net. Once Juan Mata scored late in the match it was game over. 

All the haters and negative fans are back on Twitter. These are some of the more rational ones. Next up is Liverpool this weekend....a must win.

(Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

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